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Dish Network is heading to court with several major broadcasters, with a focus on skipping ads

Fox, NBC and CBS are taking Dish Network to court because of a new feature that allows subscribers to skip over commercials in recorded content.

Dish is currently the No. 2 satellite TV provider with 14 million subscribers, and also filed suit to make ad-skipping acceptable with an official judgment.

If the current dispute isn’t handled immediately, there is a chance that it could cause distributors to pull their content from Dish.

The company’s “AutoHop” feature is unique because subscribers are able to skip all of the commercials, instead of fast-forwarding and jumping in small segments. AutoHop isn’t available to all 14M subscribers, and can only be used to skip commercials for prime-time broadcast TV episodes.

“Viewers have been skipping commercials since the advent of the remote control," said David Shull, Dish Senior VP of programming, in a statement. “We are giving them a feature they want and that gives them more control."

As more TV viewers watch TV episodes and movies on-demand on their DVRs, advertisers and TV broadcasters are looking to better monetize their content. The TV ad industry nears $20 billion per year, but advertisers are increasingly worried about DVR viewers -- a continually growing number -- simply skipping ads of recorded programs.

Fox and several other major broadcasts prohibit users from fast forwarding through on-demand content, so they have to wait for the ads to finish. In its licensing agreement with Dish, for example, Fox says the provider can retransmit prime-time content, though fast forwarding through commercials is prohibited.

Dish doesn’t believe AutoHop will make a long-term impact on whether or not commercials are viewed, but the big four broadcasters and Time Warner Cable strongly disagree.

After the service was first announced, Dish reportedly welcomed input from broadcasters, but there were immediate rumors of possible lawsuits. It should prove interesting to see which side wins the court debate, because it could have a major ripple effect hitting advertisers and subscribers.

Source: New York Times



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RE: One solution for the media companies is.
By amanojaku on 5/25/2012 9:39:52 AM , Rating: 2
Exactly. I just get up and go do something else. That's not practical with online sites, since commercials can be as short as 15 seconds, in which case I just open another browser window to check mail or something. I am not influenced by commercials, beyond laughing at the funny ones. I only buy something if several trusted third parties have recommended it, and only if I have a need. I'm not a typical consumer, but I'm sure most of us are fed up that commercials take up almost half a show's run time. And many are legally deceptive, like those amazing burgers and sandwiches that you never find in the restaurant, or those colorful berries you never see in the store.


By Labotomizer on 5/25/2012 9:36:42 AM , Rating: 1
Influenced by a commercial? I'm not sure that's entirely what they exist for. I don't mind short commercials, such as the 2-3 I get when watching Hulu. I can watch a minute to a minute and a half of commercials. And sometimes it shows something interesting. I'll always do additional research before I make a purchase but sometimes commercials pique my interest enough to do that research.

Ads are better than ever if you ask me. They're far more targeted and when I see an ad it's more likely that it will be something I'll find interesting. It's not like it used to be where we were submitted to a barage of ads that had no relation to our interests. These days I don't think I see more than one tampon commercial a week whereas I used to see them all the time. And when I do see one it's usually because my wife has control of the TV. That's saying a lot.


By Trisped on 5/25/2012 5:08:41 PM , Rating: 2
If you can laugh at the funny ones then you are influenced.

Most commercials are about getting their name out, hopefully to the top of the list. You might not buy the products, but you know they exist, their basic feature set, and who makes them.

Personally I think traditional broadcasters are allowing themselves to go the way of the dodo by not providing more on demand viewing systems and finding ways to prevent add skipping.


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